Welcome to Tuesday’s Tips from SewVeryEasy,
my name is Laura. Have you every wondered if you could sew a Grandmother’s Flower Garden—which is a hexagon block—by machine? Yes, you can. There’s a product out there that will actually help you either hand- or machine-stitch the hexagons. What it will do is it sort of sets that ¼” seam for you so you don’t have to draw or mark your ¼” seam allowances. It’s called Stitch Fast by Gypsy Quilter and it looks like heavy paper when you bring it out. Your hexagons are already printed on them. What you need to do is just cut them out, then take off the paper in back. That has got a sticky surface on it that you can place on the backside of your fabrics and it just sticks. You will be able to position this anywhere you want so if you want to fussy-cut, you can. The next thing will be trimming this out. You’re going to trim out ¼” all the way around. There are a lot of rulers that have ¼” marks on them. You can even get a ruler called Add-A-Quarter. It has a lip, and that lip will actually run against the paper, You’re going to be able to just cut the extra fabric off, and you’ll go all the way around until you get a beautiful hexagon with a perfect ¼” seam allowance. Now you can cut these one at a time or you could put them in a stack and cut them in advance. The next will be just bringing them to the machine to sew them. You do not need to make any marks; the paper will be your mark. The first thing I like to do is set up the machine so it has a smaller stitch length. I like to go 2.0 mm. That way the stitches are nice and tiny. Next, I like to start with the center of my flower. That is the one that has the paper. Put right sides together, matching up all of the edges. Start by putting your needle right in that corner. You’re going to be able to stitch following the edge of the paper. You do not need to follow the ¼” here; you’re going to be following that paper edge. Do two or three stitches, go back two or three stitches, and then come forward following that line, getting to this point. When you get to this point, go back a couple of stitches; take your fabric out. If you have a machine that will knot for you, feel free to use the knotting option. So you have no stitching into the seam allowances. Next we’ll be adding the next piece onto the center piece. This is the piece that has the paper. You’ll match up right sides and you’re going to want to start stitching right there again. You’re following the paper, not the seam allowance. When you get close to this end, you’ll be able to take the previous fabric and move it out of the way. Again, stop right in that mark. Backstitch and take it out. You now have three of the pieces joined together, and none of the seams has been crossed over. You’ll be able to go and do the next edge. Follow all of the edges to put all your six pieces on. Five have been sewn on. Now we need to do the last one. To match up the last seam, take the two and just move them out of the way. Make sure that it’s nice and tight against your last stitching line. You can pin that if you’re more comfortable. It’s going to be easier to see when you’ve matched up the next piece. Now when I go to match up the seams, I have the three sides that I’m able to match up. I have the two pieces folded away, my block is matched, and I’m able to start and stop just as I’ve been doing all the way along. And I won’t have to worry about the piece behind getting in the way because I’ve already pushed it out of the way. When that last one’s been stitched on, you will have all six stitched all the way around. You’re no longer going to need the paper in the center. You’re going to transfer that paper to one of the sides. You’ll be able to use your stitching line as one guide and the rest you’ll be able to see that it’s straight. Now I’m going to be able to take two sides, one with the paper and the one that is beside it, fold it so all of the edges match, and all of the other edges are going to be out of the way naturally by the way it falls. You can see that that piece is already out of your way. You’re going to start right in that corner and stitch down to that corner. When this side is done you’ll be able to use the other side of the paper and match up the next hexagon. So you’ll be able to use this paper for two sides. So now you have the two sides done. Now you can either set paper on every other one, or just move this to the next block. The paper can be used many times so you’re going to be able to get a lot of use out of it. When the last two seams are sewn, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden is done and I only used that one paper. When the seams are all pressed, no one will know you’ve done it on the machine, and all of the seams are perfectly flat. Now you’re going to be able to continuously add to these. Even if you wanted to do a larger one and go all the way around, the system is the same: You stick the paper onto the back and follow the paper edges. You do not need to follow the ¼” seam; just the paper edge. And just like we do a traditional one, we make a whole stack of these and then we sew them all together. Now you can get these hexagons already preprinted in many different sizes. You can get other shapes also. Another thing is, you can buy the paper just blank if you want to draw your own. I’ll put a link in the description so you can check it out. Thank you for joining me today on Tuesday’s Tips from SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what we’re sewing next time
in the sewing room. Bye for now!